As a real estate agent, you won’t be too surprised to hear that the trait homebuyers value most in you is trustworthiness. According to Properties Online, in a survey of those who used real estate agents, homebuyers listed it as the most important real estate agent trait, followed by reputation.
Both characteristics are closely related to an intensely important part of your Google My Business profile: Google reviews.
What’s the first thing homebuyers will do when they hear your name from a friend?
That’s correct: They’re going to search for you online — and that’ll be on Google, since it owns 92.62 percent of the search engine market share. Google reviews are an integral part of your Google business profile, as they’re one of the first things searchers look for.
Reviews have the unique power of instilling trust in your brand via third parties. Since prospects need more assurance than just your own marketing, Google reviews are the testimonials — from people in their shoes — that can vouch for your skills as an agent. That means they can make or break your ability to convert leads, too. According to ReviewTrackers, “63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.”
In order to attract clients, the Google reviews you have on your profile need to be positive, recent and large in number. It’s important to solicit reviews from your past clients to look like a legitimate and widely used real estate agent.
Don’t believe reviews influence consumers? Take a look at these two Google business profiles:
Which gas station would you go to? The one with five reviews, and a 2.4-star average, whose newest review was almost a year ago? Or the one with 122 reviews, a 4.3-star average, and recent reviews?
It’s a no-brainer, right? You instinctively don’t even feel the need to look at anything else — your decision has already been made. The Shell gas station in Wilmington, North Carolina, could have amazing products, great value for money and really nice employees, but you’re not going to risk it. You’re going to go with the sure-thing — that’s why you went to Google, right? To get a definitive answer.
Gas stations don’t rely on positive Google reviews though. Real estate agents do.
Here are a few benefits to having strong Google reviews:
Trust. As mentioned before, reviews increase users’ perception of your competence and trustworthiness. If other people are willing to put their names down in your support, it goes a long way with future clients. In fact, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. That’s massive and underscores the concept that you need them.
Feedback on your work. Good or bad, feedback can help you hone in on what you should continue to do and what you should stop doing at all costs. You’ll find positives in negative Google reviews and vice-versa, so even the former can change you. Example:
Now you have a concrete problem to fix thanks to honesty from an otherwise positive review.
SEO. The more reviews you have, the higher chance your Google My Business profile will rank high. According to Moz, review quantity, velocity and diversity make up 15 percent of local business ranking factors, meaning they’re super important in keeping you high on Google.